CYM Blog Retreat Season Inspiration by Lily Hannan Retreat season is around the corner and you might be wondering, “What should I do for retreat this year?” Here are our top three suggestions for teen retreats this Fall. Search The goal of this retreat is to invite teens into a relationship with God by encouraging them to ask the big questions about the purpose of life and answering them with the Gospel message. Throughout the retreat, a giant Google search bar at the front of the room displays the driving question behind each session. The questions, “What is love?”, “What is happiness?”, “What is the purpose of life?”, and “What is the point of Church?.” Popular answers to each question are displayed around the room. The sessions address these questions in a unique and dynamic way. It’s a must read! Chaos The goal of this retreat is to invite teens to a relationship with God and encourage them to allow Him to transform their chaos into a life grafted into Him. God has a history of making order out of chaos. In the beginning, He formed all of creation out of a dark void. In the Psalms, He makes wars cease, and there is stillness and peace in Him. In the Gospels, Jesus calmed the wild seas when the disciples were caught and afraid for their lives in a storm. Jesus’ very mission on this earth was to bring the order of redemption out of the chaos of the fall (Genesis 1:1-2, Psalm 46, Matthew 8:26, 1 Peter 2:24.) Jesus also took breaks from chaos. “Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up and slipped out to a solitary place to pray.” Jesus “frequently withdrew to the wilderness to pray.” A retreat is a break from the norm, an act of withdrawing. This retreat leads teens out of chaos and distractions of daily life and into a relationship with God who can transform their chaos into something beautiful (Mark 1:35, Matthew 14:22-24, Luke 5:16.) Brick The goal of this retreat is to introduce teens to the Person of Christ and the Paschal Mystery. This retreat focuses on the Gospel message: Each of us has sinned and is born with original sin. Without Christ, we are destined for eternal death. Jesus Christ, through His redemptive sacrifice, has taken the punishment for our sins and reconciled us back to God. Through the sacraments of the Church, we receive Christ’s grace and mercy and are brought into a deeper relationship with Him. At the beginning of the retreat, teens are each given a brick. This brick is carried with them through the first three sessions and represents the weight of sin that they carry with them. After teens receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, they place their brick at the foot of the cross. They learn that, freed from sin, we are called to put our hope in Christ and make him our firm foundation. Teens are given a brick at the final session, now painted white and labeled with “1 Peter 2:6-7” as a reminder that Jesus is the Cornerstone of their faith.